Coronavirus deaths pass 250,000 world-wide, with Italy, Spain and United States among worst hit

The greatest health crisis in a century has reached another milestone with a quarter of million deaths worldwide.

From the first recorded death in Wuhan around the start of the year, the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the globe, affecting the United States and Europe especially.

While places like Australia and New Zealand have weathered the storm thus far, many countries have suffered periods when resources were overwhelmed.

During the past four months there have been several ‘hotspots’ for COVID-19:

United States

While Europe was struggling to contain the virus during March, the United States had recorded fewer than 1,700 cases.

On March 16, the World Health Organization recorded just 1678 cases in the US.

President Donald Trump took to social media that day, slamming Joe Biden for his handling of the Swine Flu while he was Vice President.


One week later, the United States had more than 31,500 cases and 402 deaths, according to WHO.

The situation has continued to deteriorate, with the US now the most-affected country in the world.

A woman with black hair sitting on a stretcher wearing a mask being loaded into an ambulance by two paramedics.
A woman receives treatment in Harlem at the beginning of the outbreak in New York City.(Reuters: Mike Segar)

By May 4, around 70,000 people had died from the virus, with Mr Trump predicting that number to climb as high at 100,000.

However, independent modelling has suggested that toll will rise to 135,000 by August 4.

Italy and Spain

Two female nurses crying while holding hands
Nurses cry for a colleague who died from COVID-19 in Spain — one of the countries hit hardest.(Reuters: Susana Vera )

Italy and Spain were the early epicentre of the disaster in Europe, seemingly unable to control the spread of the virus.

By the end of February, Italy had recorded 21 coronavirus deaths, while no other European country had yet suffered a fatality.

By mid-March, Italy was approaching 25,000 infections and 2,000 deaths, while Spain was witnessing a surge.

At the end of March, Italy had more than 100,000 cases and Spain had passed 85,000.

The most recent statistics show nearly half a million people in Italy and Spain have contracted coronavirus, leading to more than 50,000 deaths — thought to be a conservative number.

United Kingdom and France

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Boris Johnson says the ‘roadmap’ to lifting lockdowns in the UK will be unveiled next week. (Photo: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street)

Statistically, the UK and France have experienced a higher mortality rate than in Italy and Spain.

While the UK currently has recorded 23,000 fewer cases than Italy, it has suffered just 438 fewer deaths. The populations of both countries are similar, at around 60 million.

France was the second country to record deaths due to coronavirus, with two fatalities on March 1.

And though it now has half the confirmed cases of Spain (Europe’s highest, at 217,466) it has just 300 fewer deaths.

The United Kingdom had recorded 20,000 cases by the end of March, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson among them.

Since recovered, Mr Johnson said the country had seen the worst of the virus, although hundreds of cases are still being detected daily.


A man in a face mask with his arms outstretched next to a river
Residents in the coronavirus epicentre Hubei are allowed to roam outside for the first time in months.(Reuters)

The country considered ground-zero for the virus suffered greatly in February.

On February 29, WHO recorded a total of 79,394 cases in China, and 2838 deaths.

Hubei province, where the first case was reported, accounted for more than 66,000 of these patients, and all but 111 of the deaths.

However, these figures dried up quickly in comparison to other countries.

Since February 29, WHO has recorded just 5,006 new cases in China.

Some restrictions were lifted in the Hubei province on May 2.


While most countries east of the Mediterranean have fared better than European counterparts, Iran has been battling.

The country has recorded 6,203 deaths as of May 4, more than all other countries in the region combined.

Iran has recorded more than 97,400 cases of COVID-19 — 70,000 more than the next highest tally, in Saudi Arabia.

Iran struggled to contain the virus from the beginning, recording the third highest number of cases outside of China on February 29.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are the only other nations in the region who have recorded more than 20,000 cases and 400 fatalities.

A member of Iranian Border Guards wears a protective face mask.
Iranian Border Guards were issued face masks shortly after the outbreak began.(Reuters: Essam al-Sudani)

Where could cases spike in the future?

Russia and Brazil has recently experienced a surge in coronavirus cases.

Both countries have reportedly dramatically higher infections and fatalities since the end of March.

More than 90,000 people have contracted the virus in Brazil since March 31, and more than 140,000 in Russia.

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